Sonntag, 23. Januar 2011

Outliner V0.7.5 beta

This version brings a better usability when navigating and clicking in the activity tree. It is now easier to hit a row and you also get a visual feedback now. And you can use your d-pad or keyboard to navigate in the tree. Use left/right to toggle collapse/expand. Try click and long click.

Changes 0.7.4:
  • CSV import/export UTF-8 to choose (check tutorial)
  • hide menus meaningless in context
  • better usability clicking activity tree
  • expand/collapse/click/longClick with d-pad
  • Fix: due date shifts back one day in several time zones
  • Fix: occasional force close with wrong CSVs
Changes 0.7.5:
  • Fix: occasional force close when using d-pad

Bonsai CSV import uses the character set for most western languages (ISO-8859-1). If you work with other character sets like russian or japanese and you want to import or export CSVs, it is better to use a general character set which understands all languages. This is why Outliner also exports and imports CSVs with "UTF-8" character set now. Please check the tutorial.

General Info here.
Version History here. 
Android Market Link here.

Comments are, as always, welcome.


Zalien hat gesagt…

Hi there, and thanks for the update. I was wondering if you would consider the following:
1. install some type of message board for better user feedback and interaction.?
1. add the ability to collapse/expand the notes under "activities"?
Thanks again for the cute app and good luck with it ;)

afritz hat gesagt…


Please describe what you exactly have in mind with "collapse/expand the notes".
What you can do right now: configure an outline so that it shows or hides the notes (5 lines) in the list. For reading the whole note just click the activity and then go back to the list afterwards.

I plan a bulletin board. In the meantime we can use the blog comments (as you did) and the mail-address in the market or the applications about dialog.

Thank you for your suggestions.

Zalien hat gesagt…

Thank you for the reply and sorry if I wasn't being clear. I'll just send you an email later on to explain the idea as I also have more to discuss/suggest. I just hope you have the time for it :)

Anonym hat gesagt…

It would be great if there was an option to hide completed tasks (but not delete them).

afritz hat gesagt…

An option to hide completed tasks per outline is already on the issues list as well as the possibility to delete them.

Harold hat gesagt…

This app is exactly what I am looking for. However I do not have access to Android Market on my Android 2.1 tablet. Is there another way I can get access to this app? Please email me ( harold.i.shore @ ) if this is possible. Thank you.

wizaaard hat gesagt…

Hello, Since you already have Bonsai CSV import working, would you consider adding support for ShadowPlan formatted CSV as well? It would save me a _lot_ of work manually reformatting the CSV structure of every file I export from Shadowplan..

Thanks a lot for making an android outliner!

Regards, Knut.

afritz hat gesagt…

Unfortunately it will last a while until an import from ShadowPlan will be ready.
In the meantime I suggest to build an export template making a Bonsai CSV as described here:
This has the advantage, that you can export more often without messing around with changing CSVs.
The other possibility is to use Natara Bonsai Desktop to import Shadow Plan files and then use the Bonsai files to import to Outliner.

yurkennis hat gesagt…

I am a seasoned user of Natara Bonsai, and hopefully you are interested in hearing what's the most critical things that Outliner lacks.

Could you comment how distant (in releases) from now each of these are? Just trying to get an idea of whether it's a matter of few weeks or rather a year from now when I can switch to Outliner completely.

1. Seamless sync with Bonsai desktop.
Ideally every sync shouldn't require any manual operations beyond single button "Sync" :)
Currently I failed to import Bonsai outline with cyrillics in it via Bonsai OTL (cyrillics look garbled); using UTF8 with manual re-save with Notepad works but is not a viable solution for regular use.
Also, export back from Outliner via Bonsai CSV (non-UTF) truncates outline just in the middle of something, so it's very incomplete back in Bonsai after import-export cycle.

2. All fields should be preserved
Although many Bonsai fields are not supported in Outliner, some of them (e.g. Start Date) are preserved when importing and then exporting back to Bonsai. Ideally all fields should be preserved even before all of them are visible-editable in Outliner.
Also, Priority field is altered in an unexpected way: non-zero priority becomes "3", while zero becomes "2" back in Bonsai.

3. Hiding completed tasks and scheduled-for-future tasks
There's no Start Date field currenlty in Outliner, but it's most frequent way in other outliners for hiding tasks/projects you can't do anything with until a specific date in future.

4. Custom filters for outline view
See how flexible it's implemented in Bonsai; consider MLO for even more flexibility (though it has filters only for plain lists, not for outline views).
Anyway, definitely need to combine Start Date criterias with a subset of categories/contexts.
We need categories for that--ideally multiple-per-item, but we have Bonsai limitation here of single category per item plus only 15 categories per outline available--I'm afraid you have to deal with that.

5. Performance with large outlines
I tried it with imported 5k items outline (my regular size), and after every edit item dialog I have to wait with a black screen for literally 10 seconds before outline is shown again.

6. Crashes when switching to Task View plain list

7. Expand-Collapse with touch devices is quite unusable, as it's difficult to get to that small area left to task name

Overall, keep up the good work!

yurkennis hat gesagt…

(Or maybe I was wrong in the first place in my assumption that Outliner will work with Bonsai desktop--and you are considering to create your own Windows desktop application?)

afritz hat gesagt…


Well, the good news is that sync to Bonsai is almost ready and on the way to the beta tester group. If you wanna be part of it - just send a mail to the address in the market (android.outliner[at] First version will lack the category support and it has troubles with cyrillics right now (the beta testing should clear the problems). I think you could help if you want...

In the settings dialog you can add space round the expand/collapse button so that it is easyer to hit it. Give it a try and tell me it it helps.

For the lags:
I work with files as big as 130kb without any issues. But I know that there is some potential to speed up things.
Do you have a Galaxy S? It is well known for lag problems.

All other issues are on my list. Filters and catagories will last a few months. Thank you for being patient.

It would be great to come into further contact.
Thank you for your suggestions and for using Outliner.


yurkennis hat gesagt…

Thanks for a prompt reply, Alfred.

I would be absolutely happy to join the beta testers group; will send email to the given address shortly.

No, I'm not with Galaxy S; I use HTC Desire Z and it's pretty fast in everything I tried so far.
Probably the reason for our different mileage is that I mentioned 5k items outline which is 5000 items :-) -- this is the size of outline I work with most of the time. Such outlines usually takes 2-3MB in Bonsai desktop XML format.

Thanks for the tip on padding buttons. I wish it was named more intutively :-)
It definitely helps for outlines where Completion checkbox is shown.

Strangely, where Completion is not shown, for every other outline (i.e. not always) there's a wide blank area between left edge of the screen and the expand/collapse button--even for the "None" button padding settings.

Thanks for filters&categories timeline--I really appreciate that.

Looking forward to joining the beta testers group.